In one of the most mind-blowing stories in NBA history, we find out that once, POTUS Donald Trump broke up a fight between late Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant and Jayson Williams. Sportswriter Jeff Pearlman recalled the interesting story during an appearance on ‘The Ryen Russillo’ podcast.
It was the year 1998, nothing was like it is now, Trump was just the owner of the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York and not one of the most hated political figures in the country. During the All-Star weekend, Kobe Bryant was in town and he ran into Jayson Williams in an elevator. What followed through was incredible, as Pearlman revealed.
« And Jayson Williams is in an elevator in the Grand Hyatt, which Trump used to own. He was in the process of selling. He was nearly underselling. It’s Trump who’s involved because he’s always around these things. Trump, Jayson Williams, Charles Oakley, and a very young Kobe Bryant. And Jayson Williams, who obviously went onto some levels of infamy, said something to Kobe. I don’t remember the exact words, it was like ‘what’s up, Kobe?’ And Kobe just gave him like ‘ok, hey’ and Williams was infuriated because he was one of these old-school guys, like Oakley actually, who believes in the code. You know, like the code is supposed to treat someone with respect. And he lunges after freaking Kobe Bryant and just punching Kobe Bryant in the elevator. I’m not a Donald Trump fan, I guess in one of the few things that I would say Donald Trump deserves credit for. He actually broke up. Donald Trump broke up a fight or got in the middle of a fight between Kobe Bryant and Jayson Williams. »
This is indeed a crazy yet interesting story. It seems like Kobe got himself in a lot of trouble during his first years in the league, but he looked for them and owned them. Williams, as Pearlman said, became an infamous player, especially after he was pleaded guilty for shooting and killing one limo driver in 2002.
He was nobody to play with and Kobe learned that the hard way. It is just curious that in his only All-Star game participation, Williams starred in one of the best NBA anecdotes you can hear of.